The second Sprint is now complete! In the last meeting with the Unstudio we presented a series of printed prototypes based on a Print to Digital idea; two navigation concept proposals which reflect a more indepth research on the potential users; and a list of suggestions for micro-events to integrate during the Official Opening Event of Arnheim Station on the 19th November.
Print to Digital
Striving to combine the temporary and the durable aspects while creating a connection between the book and the app, we decided to work with a physical object, an extra printed page or a bookmark. We believe this solution can help us avoid excessive design elements within the print layout, which may become redundant if the app will get updated over time. Instead, a bookmark is a flexible object that can contain a password/QR code and have its own value: if designed well, it is attractive to keep and interact with. We also aimed to create a direct reference to applied knowledge tools and the process of creation. Therefore we looked at the most basic tools used by architects, such as rulers and grid paper, and translated them in our proposals: the Gradient Grid, the Timeline Ruler and the Twist.
About Navigation modes
We started our second sprint with revising and narrowing down our conceptual maps from the previous sprint. Then we decided to develop two navigation concepts based on the two “personas” that we created in parallel to the conceptualization meetings. The two main proposals followed the same principles of aiming for a fast vs slow navigation journey: in one case, an overview of the content is provided and in the second one the opportunity for exploring further content and acquiring deeper knowledge is offered. The concept of allowing users to spend “more and/or less time” throughout the navigation became a key factor, and the two proposals diverge in how this is then provided.
The first proposal is based on a modular approach; starting by giving two options defined by the duration of the navigation journey. When the user followed the “knowledge” option, a detailed access to the material was provided, in this layout the user can choose to see different types of material, from images, to video, to text, eventually sound to choose from, or simply carry on to the chapter that follows. In the “quick” option, less information is displayed and a more fluid navigation takes place with passing by through a selection of the content material, without having to choose between many different options.
This navigation option has a very clear structure, offering an explicit distinction from the beginning of the app on what suits the user’s circumstance and interest best. Although the layout is very friendly and easy to follow, the first division of “knowledge” / “quick”, may be too radical and mislead user’s intention.
The second proposal differs by focussing more on the sensory, and intuitive navigation. Following the idea of creating a “unified object for knowledge”, the gradient background which helps situating the user, by defining his/her position throughout the whole navigation journey.
A “network” analogy is of great importance for UNStudio practice, and therefore became a key element for structuring the content. The user can “jump” from one chapter to the other, following a non-linear narrative. When zooming-in to a specific chapter the user sees a brief explanation of the content displayed in the form of video/ type/ 3D animation. After this an option to “continue” brings the user to a new menu with different options for alternative media display, which can deepen his/her knowledge and understanding on the subject matter.
Although this option is appealing to a more sensorial experience, may as well be too complex when combining different features, leading to some difficulty.
Simultaneously, a time-line was being designed for better illustration of different moments that composed the Arnheim Station project. Interestingly, what was thought to be an extra component proved to be as well another way of diving into the material and another navigation mode to consider.
As for the event to happen, a list of ideas was built upon the possibility of creating new content for further integration the app. For this we thought of capturing video and sound of the Flow (passengers and trains in the station site). As for a more specific intervention in the Official Opening Event of Arnheim Station, we proposed the creation of a small script to trigger people and engage them in a creation of the storytelling narrative. For this idea either audio or text would fit the best, and could also be combined with social media platforms.
Presenting our ideas along with prototypes helped us discover a more clear path for the future task to develop during Sprint 3. While visualizing and discussing the proposal, UNStudio responded in a very positive and constructive way, which made us understand the importance of communicating concepts together with concrete visual material.
For Sprint 3 we will improve and define one navigation concept based on the feedback received, and start making high fidelity prototypes to help us continue question and discuss our designs. Starting our next sprint with our hands on!